Or It's All Greek To Me
Times of Israel blog post: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/its-all-greek-to-me-the-complicated-story-of-hanukkah/
Like winter holidays around the world, Hanukkah celebrates light. In this case the light of the olive oil that lit the Menorah when the Maccabees rededicated the Temple of Jerusalem in 164 B.C.E. But as you would expect, the story of Hanukkah is a lot more complicated than one might imagine. Getting to that olive oil is a journey through the dissolution Alexander the Great’s empire and the first clash between Greece and Rome. The events in ancient Israel are just a small part of an extended regional war.
In the first chapter The Complicated Hanukkah Story, Alexander the Great's Empire has split in two and Israel is under the control of the Ptolemaic Empire centered in Egypt. Greek culture had spread throughout the region. But things are still okay for the Jews under the Ptolemys, they were free to practice their religion without restriction.